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Thread: Best way to join events?

  1. Default Best way to join events?

    Hi,
    Can anyone suggest the best way to butt clips up against each other in Sony Vegas Pro so that the cut is as clean as possible?

    Don't know if I'm missing something but when I just push two events together they cut from one to the other can appear quite harsh in the finished project. Is there a softer way - possibly using a transition - of cutting from one event to another or can anyone suggest anything?

    Many thanks in advance

    Matt

  2. #2

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    If you want a smooth transition, just slide the start of a second clip over the end of the first clip. If you have snapping turned on, they will snap to one second overlap, but you can use any length of overlap, of course.

    IMHO, the best transition is the defaut--simply slide one clip over the other, let it snap at one second, and let it be. That will result in a smooth, one-second long cross fade.

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    I would also add - perhaps contentiously - that fades are over used and are the lazy editors way to cover up mistakes.

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    So can you suggest your own way for a smooth event cut Mark or would you agree with the above?

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    Yea - I would generally use a simple fade if I used a fade. Sometimes I also do jazzy ( not presets ) custom transitions.

    Smoothness - I would say that a cut at the 'right' point will look smooth. Where that ' right ' point is is perhaps a rather arcane decison that is part creative and artistic and part technical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    Smoothness - I would say that a cut at the 'right' point will look smooth. Where that ' right ' point is is perhaps a rather arcane decison that is part creative and artistic and part technical.
    Mark is 100% correct. How you cut from one shot to the next is absolutely critical and follows on naturally from WHY you cut from one shot to the next.

    I'm no expert - I'm only at te very beginning of the learning curve with this stuff, but here are a few pointers.

    As indicated above, you should cut from one shot to the next because you have a reason to do so. If you have a reason the cut will be expected and so it will not jar so much.

    Example: Actor A enters a scene and holds out his hand which contains something which he shows to Actor B. We cut to a close up of his hand/object. We then maybe cut to a close up of Actor B to see his reaction and then another cut to Actor A to see him watching Actor B's reaction.

    All these cuts have a purpose - they are all where we would expect to focus our attention and because they are expected, they are smooth.

    Cutting between shots simply in order to provide variety is perhaps a bit more tricky. Try still to come up with good reasons for the cuts. Take something like a film of a stationary steam locomotive. Don't simply stick random close-ups and wide shots together. Suppose you want to show the name plate (on the side of the boiler) in close up. Show the whole loco first, then a mid shot of just some of the boiler (with the name plate in view) and then the close up. If these are filmed from the similar angles this will focus the viewers attention on the name plate and the cut's won't jar (though filming from different angles may make it more interesting). Then go out to a wide shot again before focusing in on another detail.

    There are a lot of mechanical consideratiions if you want smooth cuts.

    Try to ensure two adjoining clips have the same colour/contrast etc.
    Look for matching "shapes" in both clips (eg an arch of a bridge and the top half of a clock)
    Don't cut into or out of a moving pan or zoom.
    Dont cut between two shots of the same subject taken at similar angles or similar distances.
    Don't forget sound. Either the recorded sound or a soundtrack will often define the "right" point for the cut.
    Use J or L cuts (where the sound track changes before or after the video) to smooth cuts.

    These are just some ideas off the top of my head and I haven't even read the fourth "C" - cutting, in Joseph Mascelli "Five Cs of Cinematography" as recommended by Mark W, yet.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Don't cut into or out of a moving pan or zoom.
    Blimmey, there's a rule I regularly break! In fact, if you look at just about any one of my videos, you'll see hard cuts next to both pans and zooms. Sometimes a hard cut to a zooming pan. Now I'm confused... am I breaking the rule and getting away with it... or am I looking like a fool

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post
    Blimmey, there's a rule I regularly break! In fact, if you look at just about any one of my videos, you'll see hard cuts next to both pans and zooms. Sometimes a hard cut to a zooming pan. Now I'm confused... am I breaking the rule and getting away with it... or am I looking like a fool
    Hey, if it works, it works - that's the only "rule".
    But it is commonly accepted that (certainly for a smooth transition, which is what the OP was after) a zoom or a pan should start and end with a static shot.

    (Of course all my pans and zooms are far too long so I end up douing exactly what you're describing, Marc. Or I cheat and use velocity envelopes)
    Tim

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    I would chose to cut to a zoom to add impact, but it looks smooth to me. To me, cutting to the start of zoom or pan is just plain wrong from a static shot. If you go:

    (static shot), cut, (static to movement) it looks horrd. I always use:

    (static shot), cut, (movement) or
    (movement) cut (movement) or
    (static) cut (static)

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    Interesting, Marc. I'm just going on what I've picked up (word of mouth/read) rather than what I've tried.

    Here's a bit of conjecture. I may be talking rubbish. If you're surveying a landscape your head starts from a static position and stops at one. If you close your eyes, start turning your head and the open them while turning it just "feels" wrong, it takes longer for your eyes to focus as they're having to deal with movement AND distance. Try it now, look around your room. Now do it again but don't open your eyes until you're already moving. To me there's a split second of disorientation and it's my guess that this is what the "rule" about panning is trying to avoid.

    Having said that, I've never noticed anything amis with your films, Mark, so If I have to look out for cuts into.out of zooms/pans in order to notice them the "rule" must be pants

    I'd be interested in what others have to say on the subject.
    Tim

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